Minnesota State Board of Investment (MSBI) is responsible for managing the retirement funds, trust funds and cash accounts for the State of Minnesota. As at September 30, 2020, MSBI had US$ 105 billion of assets under management.
As part of its responsible investment practices, MSBI applies negative screening criteria on companies which derive 25% or more of their revenue from the extraction and/or production of thermal coal. Moreover, MSBI integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its active ownership practices. With regards to climate change, the organization has appointed an external consultant to assess its portfolio’s exposure to transition risks and opportunities. Finally, MSBI is part of several ESG-related industry groups, such as the UN PRI, the Ceres Investor Network, Climate Action 100+ and the Thirty Percent Coalition.
BNN Bloomberg: Investor demand for socially responsible projects is slowly pushing its way into Europe’s private credit markets, kicking off a shift in a booming area of company finance.
Responsible Investor: Report by RI and Credit Suisse explores awareness and concerns for natural capital.
The Asset: Top industry executives cite lack of relevant data, difficulty of translating carbon metrics into financial impact.
Reuters: The suit targets 21 companies including BP PLC, Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
Business Day: Part of the complaint against Queensgate Investments is that it is ‘racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic’.
Institutional Asset Manager: Almost half of senior managers in the financial services sector are not aware of forced labour and exploitation in the UK, a new report has found.
Private Equity International: George Walker, the firm’s chief executive and chairman, was speaking at the Asian Financial Forum on Monday. [Full article available to Private Equity International subscribers.]
Reuters: Ratings agency calculates that 43% of emerging economies have a highly negative credit impact from physical climate risk such as rising seas.
BNN Bloomberg: China is set to post the fastest growth in Asia for environmental, social and government investments after the country boosted exchange-traded fund assets 18-fold in the past two years, according to estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence.
Established in 1993, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is responsible for managing Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund. As at November 30, 2020, the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to $HK 4,451.8 billion ($US 570.7 billion).
As part of its responsible investment approach, HKMA integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its investment analysis. Moreover, HKMA has developed internal guidelines to incorporate ESG considerations in the selection, appointment and monitoring of external managers. In 2019, it unveiled a number of measures for promoting the development of green finance in Hong Kong. The same year, to further its commitment towards sustainability, HKMA became a signatory to the UN PRI and a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
Institutional Investor: A new study sheds some light on why Silicon Valley is still dominated by men.
Private Equity Wire: An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) of private equity managers believe the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will help the financial industry address pressing environmental and social challenges, according to a new study by LGT Capital Partners.
Institutional Asset Manager: The ‘social premium’ for investing in companies with good or improving social practices is rising, according to new research from US-based asset manager Federated Hermes.
Funds Europe: The asset management industry’s role in the future of the planet has come into question again following the publication of two reports calling out firms for acting too slowly on climate targets.
Yahoo!: BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said his firm will consider eliminating its political action committee after last week’s attack at the U.S. Capitol.
Bloomberg: Few of their members have the background to truly get what’s at stake, a new study shows. [Full article available to Bloomberg subscribers.]
Bloomberg: Fidelity Investments and Capital Group ranked the worst of the world’s 10 biggest asset managers last year on pushing high-carbon emitters to curb their role in global warming, according to a report. [Full article available to Bloomberg subscribers.]
Funds Europe: European ETFs closed the fourth quarter of 2020 by passing the €1 trillion milestone in assets, while ESG-focused funds saw their assets surge.
Institutional Investor: Most ESG managers struggle to get investors’ attention. Here’s why.
Founded in 1954, the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF) is a Community Foundation seeking to support arts and culture, education, health and human services, environment, and recreation in Hamilton.
The Foundation has adopted responsible investment practices for 80% of its portfolio. For example, it engages with external managers on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and proxy voting records. Additionally, HCF excludes tobacco, illegal weapons and predatory lending from its investment universe. The other 20% of HCF’s portfolio is dedicated to impact investments, which targets thematic areas such as food security, education, affordable housing, health, environment and arts.
Statement of Investment Beliefs
IPE: Members of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance have called on the International Energy Agency (IEA) to include a fully developed standalone 1.5°C scenario in the 2021 edition of its influential global energy outlook.
IR Magazine: Four in five respondents say they identify ESG risks using in-house research.
The Straits Times: Chinese money managers are rushing to launch new energy funds, seeking to capitalise on investors' green fever which has been fuelled by President Xi Jinping's carbon-neutrality pledge.
Reuters: The board of directors of Malaysian firm Top Glove Corp, the world’s largest maker of medical grade gloves, has failed egregiously in protecting its workers from COVID-19, U.S. investor BlackRock said, calling for its removal.
Institutional Investor: Just one day after senior asset management executives and other corporate leaders signed a letter to Congress demanding that lawmakers certify the 2020 presidential election results, they watched in horror as pro-Trump extremists, some armed, staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an unprecedented attack on U.S. democracy.
BNN Bloomberg: Banks are failing to address the global plastic-pollution crisis, having provided $1.7 trillion in financing to packaging companies, retailers and related businesses, according to a report.
Pensions & Investments: More than a dozen institutional investment consulting firms have formed the Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative to increase data and transparency around diversity in the asset management industry, the group said Tuesday. [Full article available to Pensions & Investments subscribers.]
Think Advisor: Many investors are asking for it, relative performance is strong and asset managers are providing more investment options. [Full article available to Think Advisor subscribers.]
Funds Europe: Three private equity firms are among a series of backers to sponsor diversity group Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM).
The Hewlett Foundation was established in 1966 by Flora and William Hewlett, with their eldest son, Walter Hewlett. Today, the organization supports efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve global development, promote performing arts, make the philanthropy sector more effective and strengthen communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. As at June 30, 2020, the Foundation had $US 10.4 billion of assets under management.
As part of Hewlett Foundation’s investment approach, the organization applies negative screening on tobacco companies and no longer invests in private partnerships primarily involved in oil and gas drilling. Additionally, the Foundation votes proxies on climate and forestry issues. With regards to Climate Change, the organization supports initiatives that help reduce the use of fossil fuels, improve energy systems, and promote cross-sector integration and innovation. As such, in the the beginning of 2021, the Hewlett Foundation has awarded $US 2.45 million to six promising initiatives that will contribute to align passive asset management with climate action.
Top1000Funds: A cohort of ESG experts argued that the current data and research available for investors is lacking. Elsewhere they urged investors to engage with corporate boards to encourage change.
GreenBiz: While the attention of the world is on a rapid and sustainable COVID-19 recovery, increasing climate change risks continue to loom large. Recovery will require investments that create jobs and ensure not only immediate green recovery, but also long-term sustainable development. We need ready solutions that promote local development of climate-resilient infrastructure and use capital and innovation from the private sector to advance public objectives. We need green banks: an implementable, versatile answer for sustainable economic recovery.
GreenBiz: The United Kingdom's largest utility companies are facing calls to publish dedicated strategies that set out how they to intend to manage the social implications arising from the shift from fossil fuels to low- and zero-carbon solutions, amid fears progress to decarbonize the energy sector could stall if companies at the forefront of the transition do not secure a broad social mandate.
GreenBiz: The incoming Biden administration has set an ambitious target of carbon-free power production in the U.S. by 2035. Achieving this lofty goal will require a step-change in how this country plans and makes investments to modernize the nation’s electric grid. With the right policies in place, the clean energy economy also could be the cornerstone of the U.S. economic recovery.
Nikkei Asia: U.S. asset manager AllianceBernstein Holding will oppose director slates nominated by Japanese companies if none of the candidates are women, becoming one of the biggest names to join the growing movement to bring diversity to boardrooms. [Full article available to Nikkei Asia subscribers.]
The Asset: Driven by its rising power demand, Vietnam has become one of the largest and fastest-growing renewable energy markets in Southeast Asia, and Thai companies are acting swiftly to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the country.
The Asset: Investors are beginning to seek independent audits of the sustainability targets of green bonds and social bonds as part of their bond covenants to ensure their investments are used for the intended purpose.
Pensions & Investments: Money managers racing to gather environmental, social and governance assets as European asset owners shift to all-ESG portfolios will have to absorb the cost of integrating specialist data if they want to remain competitive on fees, which in Europe are already lower than for non-ESG investments. [Full article available to Pensions & Investments subscribers.]
Bloomberg: Two new reports put price tags on the year’s warming-fueled severe weather events. [Full article available to Bloomberg subscribers.]